Thursday, September 27, 2007

Movie Rule: Garbage Disposals

Movie Rule #6639: Garbage disposals will always attempt to mangle people's hands.

It was actually my nephew who brought this one to my attention. He's ten years old and when he came over, he had never seen a garbage disposal in real life before. When he saw it, he asked, "Does it ever chop up people's hands?" At first, I was horrified, like "No, why would you think that?" Then he said, "In the movies, garbage disposals always chop up people's hands."

Which is true. Especially in horror movies. Someone scrapes something into the garbage disposal and hits the switch. It doesn't work, hmm. Or they drop something into the garbage disposal. So they reach down into the drain. Then the possessed house or the ghost or the computer virus or the blob hits the switch and then there's screaming or blood or all of the above. Or the disposal goes off a split-second after the person manages to pull his/her hand out. Which, of course, rarely happens in the real world. I personally am not stupid enough to reach into a garbage disposal, and even if I was, the odds of it coming on spontaneously are slim-to-none. But in movies, it happens every time. When was the last time you saw someone in a movie scrap some chicken bones into the sink, hit the switch, grind up the bones, and walk away? I'd like to see that.

Examples: Final Destination 2, Heroes

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Mighty Flop: A Mighty Heart's Failure

Angelina Jolie's new movie A Mighty Heart was, by financial standards, a colossal failure. A lot of people (including this guy at blogcritics who clearly has an axe to grind against her and this guy at the Huffington Post who makes a more balanced argument) are blaming the movie's failure on Angelina Jolie's off-screen antics. I think that's certainly a fair guess. I think the subject matter is also a factor. I agree with a reviewer at AlterNet who described the problem as one of plot: the movie's not about Daniel Pearl or Mariane Pearl as people. The decision to dramatize the agonizing two weeks of her struggling to save her husband and ultimately failing was a bad idea. A movie about Daniel Pearl himself or even their marriage leading up to his kidnapping would have been a much better subject. I know I personally am not really interested in experiencing two hours of a wife desperately trying to save her husband, only to find him beheaded at the end of the movie. As far as Jolie in "blackface," that is pretty offensive. She should have just played it as herself. Without the makeup.

In a related story, I haven't seen so many bad puns in movie reviews since Catwoman.

The Average Catwoman Review
It's Not Brad's Baby

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Meltdown: Britney's VMA performance

You know, it's easy to pile onto Britney Spears after her disastrous performance at the 2007 Video Music Awards. Which is why I like it. It's easy.

I personally was not too surprised. Her actions over the past year shows she's far too unstable to go back to her old pop princess self. I seriously doubt the old virginal, church-loving singer-dancer Britney ever existed at all, but was merely a creation of her PR, which couldn't keep the cap on the bottle for long.

The question to me, though, is why she melted down so publicly in the first place. Couldn't someone have stopped her? The answer is no. There's an article on MSN that brought together all the theories and facts that leaked out this week showing how her people couldn't stop her from destroying herself. But as far as her outfit, it couldn't have been that bad: for all day after her performance, all of Yahoo Photos' Most Viewed photos were of her.

Britney is Chaotic
Unlike A Virgin
Britney Spears is an Idiot

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Where's Monkey Migraine

In case you've been wondering where I've been for the last month or so, I have not abandoned the blog. I've been working on uploading my Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy novel, "Really Wild Things" to has, without a doubt, the worst uploading system I've ever seen. Ever other story site I've been to has a simple form you can paste text into and then hit "upload." With, I need to cut out the invidividual chapter I'm posting from the text document, save that as a separate text file, upload that text file to, convert the file into a story format for the website, then go to another screen that has my story listed, click on an option to add a new chapter, then select the text file for that chapter, and hit the button to add it. Having to do that with each chapter for 41 chapters means that I don't have a whole lot of free time left to work on my blog. But rest assured, I'm still here.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Oh, Nooooo: The History of Lemmings

Ah, Lemmings, one of the greatest games of all time. If you've never played it, you missed on an experience more addictive (and more twisted) than Tetris and Solitaire combined. The basic premise: you have a group of lemmings that do nothing but walk in whatever direction they're facing. Your goal is to get them from the entrance to the exit. In-between you'll find mousetraps, pits, gaping holes, and other obstacles that have to be avoided with the help of special lemmings that will dig, build, or explode in various useful ways. Back in the day, Lemmings was so addictive to me that I had to delete it from my computer just to get back to a normal life. You can play a version of the game at If you have a Palm Pilot, you can even download a freeware version of the original Lemmings. But did you ever wonder how the game came to be? Neither did I until I stumbled across an article by one of the game's creators. It's a remarkable window into game development at a time when a handful of people could create a multi-million dollar game all by themselves. Once you're done reading it, go back and email 3D Realms on why their company of hundreds can't get Duke Nukem Forever out the door in seven years.